Werner Herzog Demanded The Mandalorian Use a Puppet For Baby Yoda

Baby Yoda a.k.a. The Child is easily the breakout character of The Mandalorian. The first-ever live-action Star Wars series primarily uses puppetry to bring Baby Yoda to life. However, a few sequences require CGI to complete the illusion. According to executive producer Dave Filoni, he and series creator Jon Favreau were initially going to lean on a CGI Baby Yoda. Instead, filmmaker and The Mandalorian cast member, Werner Herzog demanded they use the puppet.

Vanity Fair shared the story from Filoni, who related Herzog’s biting words when they tried to swap out the puppet: “You are cowards. Leave it.”

Deborah Chow, the director of The Mandalorian‘s third episode, also shared a story about Herzog’s connection with the puppet.

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“I had a day with one of the weirdest moments I’ve ever had directing,” related Chow. “I was directing Werner with the puppet, and Werner had just fallen in love with the baby. Werner, I think, had forgotten it wasn’t actually a live creature, and started sort of…directing the baby. Werner is talking to the baby as if it was a real thing. And I’m trying to direct Werner. And I’m just like, How did I get here? How did my life end up like this?”

Additionally, Chow noted that she started directing the puppet as if it was alive as well.

“It was pretty magical,” recalled Chow. “I worked with the puppeteers and the visual effects [artists], and just worked with it like it was an actor. They’re the ones who gave it humanity, who gave it life.”

The Mandalorian season 1 will stream every Friday on Disney+. Baby Yoda merchandise is now hitting stores, with more to come in 2020. Perhaps he’ll even get a real name before his action figure comes out.

What do you think about Herzog’s demand for the Baby Yoda puppet? Let us know in the comment section below!

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